The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in April 1962 by guitarist and harmonica player Brian Jones, pianist Ian Stewart, vocalist Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards. Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early lineup.
Jones was initially the band's leader, but after Jagger and Richards became co-songwriters of international hits for the band, they assumed control. Jones, whose contributions to recording had progressively dwindled and who was unable to tour, left the band by mutual agreement. Shortly before Jones' untimely death in 1969, Mick Taylor joined the Rolling Stones on guitar. Taylor left in 1974 and was replaced by Ronnie Wood. Stewart was taken from the official lineup in 1963 to continue as the band's road manager and occasional keyboardist until his death in 1985. Wyman left in 1990 and was replaced by Darryl Jones as the primary bassist.
After gaining popularity in Europe, The Rolling Stones became successful in North America during the so-called British Invasion of the mid 1960s. They have released 22 studio albums in the United Kingdom (24 in the United States), eight concert albums (nine in the US) and numerous compilations; they have been estimated to have sold worldwide more than 200 million albums. Sticky Fingers (1971) began a string of eight consecutive studio albums reaching number one in the United States. Their most recent album of entirely new material, A Bigger Bang, was released in 2005. In 1989 the Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2004 they ranked number 4 in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked the Rolling Stones at number ten on "The Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists", and as the second most successful group in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
After signing to Decca Records in 1963, the band changed their name from "The Rollin' Stones" to "The Rolling Stones". Band members and others often refer to the band as "The Stones".
In the early 1950s Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were boyhood friends and classmates at Wentworth Primary School in Dartford, Kent, until their families moved apart.In 1960 when Richards, on his way to class at Sidcup Art College, and Jagger, on his way to class at London School of Economics, met at Dartford train station. The Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records Jagger carried revealed a mutual interest leading to the formation of a band reestablished their friendship and lead to them forming a band with Dick Taylor (later of Pretty Things). . Richards, Taylor and Jagger found Brian Jones as he sat in playing slide guitar with Alexis Korner's seminal London R&B band, Blues Incorporated. Blues Incorporated contained two other future members of the Rolling Stones; Ian Stewart and Charlie Watts Stewart found a practice space and joined with Jones to start a R&B band playing Chicago Blues. Besides Stewart, Jones and Jagger, the first rehearsal of the as-yet-unnamed band also included Richards attending at Jagger's behest. Other participants were guitarist Geoff Bradford and vocalist Brian Knight objected to the rock 'n roll material Jagger and Richards favoured and wanted no part of forming a band with them. In June 1962 the lineup was: Jagger, Richards, Stewart, Jones, Taylor, and drummer Tony Chapman. According to Richards, Jones christened the band while phoning Jazz News to place an advertisement. When asked what the band's name was, Jones glanced at a Muddy Waters LP lying on the floor of which one of the tracks was "Rollin' Stone"